Taliban Bans Crypto In Afghanistan, Businesses Shutdown & Arrests Made in Herat

The cryptocurrency market took yet another major blow as Afghanistan one of the biggest markets in the industry saw a total ban on digital currencies. Afghanistan has been among the top 20 players in the global cryptocurrency market, having seen huge adoption of real-world use case scenarios for digital assets and currencies. This increased further after the US government removed its army from the country resulting in the Taliban slowly gaining control over the nation’s government. Sanctions imposed on the Taliban — the militant group/current ruling party of Afghanistan has greatly affected its currency and central bank in a negative manner.

This greatly limits the capacity of Afghans in making any fiat currency-based transaction in the global market. Cryptocurrencies paved a way for them to gain access back to the global market for making trans-border transactions. Thus, the people’s desire to preserve their wealth and prevent it from falling into the hands of the Taliban had greatly increased the adoption of more real world and retail use case scenarios for cryptocurrency in Afghanistan. However, Talibans made an announcement earlier this year stating that they would study whether digital currencies can be allowed under Islamic financial practices as they were looking at all options to revive the nation’s economy.

However, the militant group has now completely banned cryptocurrencies from the nation as they believe it contains forbidden elements such as wagering and uncertainty making it a “haram” forbidden for Muslims. Afghan could be considered one among the many poor nations which have now turned to cryptocurrencies in a bid to improve their living standards and economy. But, this move by the Taliban makes this country the second market aside from China to entirely ban any and all activities relating to cryptocurrencies as illegal.

As per police reports, they have arrested several dealers who failed to comply with orders to terminate trading with digital currencies after the nationwide ban was imposed. The report further mentioned that over 20 businesses relating to the crypto market have been shut down in Herat, the 3rd largest city in the country for the digital currencies market. The city had 4 out of 6 total crypto exchanges located in the country. About 12 people seem to have been arrested related to dealing in crypto who were said to have been released later on bail.

Speaking over this update, Sayed Shah Saadaat — Head of the criminal investigation at police headquarters in Herat said “The central bank gave us an order to stop all money changers, individuals, and businesspeople from trading fraudulent digital currencies like what is commonly referred to as Bitcoin”.

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